October 2018

Examinations of the teeth of various hominins helps to understand their distribution in Europe and their evolution in the Pleistocene

Two articles published in the journal “PLOS ONE” describe two research on Pleistocene hominin teeth conducted by two teams with various researchers in common. A team led by Laura Martín-Francés of the French University of Bordeaux discovered various characteristics of Neanderthal teeth in the molars of a previous species named Homo antecessor from the Early Pleistocene. A team led by Clément Zanolli of the French University of Toulouse III Paul Sabatier examined the oldest dental remains discovered in Italy with an age estimated at about 450,000 years ago, concluding that they were similar to those of Neanderthals and distinct from those of modern humans.

Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod (Italian edition)

The novel “Cosmonaut Keep” by Ken MacLeod was published for the first time in 2000. It’s the first book in the Engines of Light Trilogy.

Matt Cairns is a programmer who also accepts jobs that are not exactly legal, exploiting his ability to penetrate computer systems. His contacts lead him to try to penetrate the system of a space station where he discovers much more than expected and ends up involved in a story that also concerns the first contact with an alien species.

On the planet Mingulay, human beings live together with saurs and kraken, on which they have to rely for interstellar travel. Gregor Cairns is part of a family that would like to discover the secrets needed to build their own interstellar starships, but this requires not only to solve a series of technical problems but also to avoid causing the gods’ wrath.

Ledumahadi mafube bones and details of the discovery location (Image courtesy McPhee et al)

An article published in the journal “Current Biology” describes the discovery of a new giant dinosaur species in South Africa. Named Ledumahadi mafube by the team that examined it, led by Professor Jonah Choiniere, it was an herbivorous sauropod that had an estimated weight of around 12 tons for a height estimated at about four meters at its hips. In the Early Jurassic period in which it lived it was the largest land animal in the world.